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The Four Levels of Leadership

by Guest Writter
Edgar Papke, Author, THE ELEPHANT IN THE BOARDROOM: How Leaders Use and Manage Conflict to Reach Greater Levels of Success

To be a truly successful leader requires you to be aware and operate at four levels: global, organizational, interpersonal, and self. Each level presents its own set of challenges.

At the global level, you need to be aware of worldwide environmental, economic, and social forces and trends. Along with new emerging economies are the technologies and accompanying forms of social context which create the canvas of global competition and conflict. In your day-to-day role you may not always be aware of your connection to the global level. Yet, everything you do will affect or contribute to the greater world. In fact, the more aware you are of this, the further you can consciously choose to create a larger imprint and contribute more broadly. Never underestimate what you, as a single committed person, can accomplish.

The organizational level requires you to be aware of what is happening in your businesses, communities, and institutions. In particular, this demands that you are conscious of how your organization operates. To be an astute student and leader, you must have an intimate knowledge of your institution’s culture and how teamwork happens. Knowing the rules of engagement at the company and team level is key to contributing to the company’s ability to compete and succeed in the marketplace, and to influence the relationships among its members to collaborate in pursuing a shared purpose and vision.

At the interpersonal level, your awareness will be key to effectively communicating with and motivating others. Being mindful and attentive to every person you engage in requires you to be aware of your emotions and actions. You must be conscious of the behaviors through which you create mutual respect, trust, and reciprocity. To be successful, you will need to constantly strive for self-awareness. For without it, you will not know how you connect with others on a personal level, let alone at the organizational and global levels.

[Adapted from THE ELEPHANT IN THE BOARDROOM: How Leaders Use and Manage Conflict to Reach Greater Levels of Success (Career Press, 2015) by Edgar Papke.]


About the Author

Edgar Papke is a Leadership Psychologist & Coach, Author, and Award-Winning Speaker.

[Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

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